The North Face Apparel Corp. is suing a parody company called The South Butt and the teenager who started it.
The lawsuit filed last week in federal court in St. Louis seeks unspecified damages and asks the court to prohibit The South Butt from marketing and selling its parody product line.
The North Face says it does not comment on pending litigation.
The South Butt’s attorney, Albert Watkins, says the company was started by 18-year-old Jimmy Winkelmann to help pay for college. It puts out products with the tag line “Never Stop Relaxing,” a parody of The North Face line, “Never Stop Exploring.”
The South Butt described the forthcoming legal battle as a modern day David and Goliath encounter and has even come up with a cheeky Facebook application that challenges users to spot the difference between a face and a butt.
Watkins thinks it should be easy enough. “The South Butt has previously made it clear to the North Face that the consuming public is insightful enough to know the difference between a face and a butt,” he said.
Comments left on The South Butt blog expressed mixed feelings over the lawsuit.
“Hand ‘em their ass, Jimmy! Make some bank for the holidays and then make them settle out of court,” said a user named “Mr_T.”
A comment from “Will” was more pessimistic. “Your logo is just theirs upside down…It’s a clear case of trying to profit from their brand.”
(AFP WITH STAFF WRITER)